THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT EXTENDS UK TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
The government of Jamaica has decided to extend existing travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocols for visitors from the United Kingdom until March 15, 2021. Under the extension, the ban on direct from the UK will continue, and all non-Jamaicans who have traveled to the UK within a two-week period prior to their arrival date in Jamaica will not be allowed to enter the country. Jamaicans who have been in the UK within that 14-day period who want to enter via another country will be required to take a COVID-19 test and detained in a state quarantine for at least 48 hours. If the test is negative, they will be able to go into home quarantine for a mandatory 14-day period.
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION CALLING FOR ADDITIONAL DRUG TO MANAGE COVID-19
The Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) wants the drug Ivermectin to be included by the government for treatment of COVID-19. The MAJ is basing its request on significant peer-reviewed evidence that this drug reduces the incidence of cases and mortality rates when given as a prophylactic, as well as when used to treat all stages of COVID-19. The MAJ argues that Jamaica is at a crisis point in the pandemic and that it needs the additional drug. The association also noted that Ivermectin has been used as an effective and safe treatment for many years to treat certain parasites in humans and has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that can effectively treat COVID-19.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
CHINA-LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN PARTNERSHIP ON AGRI-FOOD BUSINESS APPROVED BY UN AGENCY
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has given its support to a partnership of the China-CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) to address the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and agriculture in the region. According to the director-general of the FAO Qu Dongyu, strong partnerships are critical to overcome existing problems. A project to enhance the use of digital technologies in the region was also announced in the director-general’s remarks to the 2nd China-CELAC forum on agriculture. Qu noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has made growing inequities in Latin America and the Caribbean more visible and that the region could see a reversal of its 20 years of work fighting hunger if stronger partnerships are not forthcoming.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JULIUS GARVEY SCHEDULED TO SPEAK AT BLACK HISTORY MONTH FORUM
Julius Garvey, the son of Jamaica’s first national hero Marcus Garvey, is slated to be the keynote speaker at the Black History Month Forum to be held via Zoom on Sunday, February 28, 2021. His speech will discuss “The Contributions of the Caribbean Diaspora to America.” The virtual forum is sponsored by the Jamaican Nationals Association (JNA) of the Washington DC metropolitan area. Dr. Elaine Knight, JNA president, and Rev. Dr. Noel Godfrey, JNA vice-president will host the forum. Organizers say the forum will recognize the role of Caribbean nationals in the history and development of the US.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
FIRST INTERNATIONAL FACILITY FOR PSYCHEDELIC PSYCHIATRY TO OPEN IN JAMAICA
The Aion International Center of Psychedelic Psychiatry, the first facility of its kind, is set to open in Jamaica. Initially, the center will focus on the use of psilocybin in the treatment of addiction, depression, and anxiety. The United States Food and Drug Administration has supported the use of such therapy for treating major depressive disorder. The new center in Jamaica will also perform research in the use of “magic mushrooms” as a therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anorexia nervosa. Dr. Winston De Law Haye will be the medical director. Along with treating local and international patients, the center will collaborate with the University of the West Indies and other institutions in Jamaica on research and development of treatments of mental illness.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JAMAICAN ACTOR PAYS TRIBUTE TO TOOTS HIBBERT IN PODCAST
The Jamaican actor and playwright David Heron has paid tribute to Jamaica’s reggae legend Frederick “Toots” Hibbert in a Rolling Stone podcast. While Heron never met Hibbert, he describes the artist as one of his all-time favorites and was devastated when Hibbert died. He was considering ways to honor the artist when the opportunity to be the voice of the Rolling Stone podcast came up. Heron said that Hibbert was very important to him as a Jamaican living overseas, as the music helped him stay connected to his home.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
TRACK AND FIELD SPORTS TO RESUME IN JAMAICA
The Jamaican government was forced to shut down all sports events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is ready to reopen track and field competitions, according to Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Youth, Sports, and Culture. Following calls from Jamaican athletes like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to resume sporting events, the Jamaica Athletics Administration Association (JAAA) reported that the government had finally approved the staging of a series of competitive meets. Glen Mills, the head coach of Racers Track Club, said his athletes have already begun practicing the required COVID-19 protocols in their training. He said they are ready to compete and have been training since 2020. The resumed meets will help to prepare athletes for the 2021 Summer Olympics, which are scheduled to start on July 23, 2021. Track and field events will initially be held without spectators. The yearly ISSA Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, which were cancelled in 2020, will be held in April of 2021.